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How to make organic tileable textures.

 

Tileable textures -- Highly useful for many graphic applications. Excellent for 3d model texture maps, environment textures and stupid looking website backgrounds.

Click HERE to see the final tileable texture.

What you will need for this recipe:
- A texture that doesn't tile.
- Photoshop.
- RedfieldPlugins. Download the plugin installer here. Install to your 'photoshop\Plug-Ins\Filters\' directory.

 

1. Once you have installed the Redfield Plugins set, start photoshop and open your texture.

This is the example texture i'm going to use. (Thanks to Bstocked for this image.)

 

As you can see here, this texture looks crap when its tiled. The top right corner is darker, the color is uneven and the mismatching texture detail create glaring seams at the edges. In this tutorial, we will eliminate these three problems in that order.

 

2. Duplicate the background layer. Name the layer 'color base'. Set its' blending mode to color.

 

3. Hide the color base layer (we'll get back to it in a second). Click on the background layer and de-saturate it (ctrl +shift +U).

 

4. Open the High Pass Filter. (Filter>Other>High Pass). Set it to a level that doesn't lose too much texture detail; but gets rid of the top-right shadow unevenness. I set it at about 70 for this particular texture. Hit OK.

 

5. Make the color base layer visible again, but keep the background layer active. Adjust the curves (ctrl +M) to get the darkness levels back closer to the original. The High Pass filter often flushes out some of the darker tones. Drag the bottom-left square to the right to darken the dark tones. Hit OK.

 

Rough color seam fixing:

6. Select the color layer. Duplicate it (drag and drop the layer on the 'new' layer palette button). Name the layer 'vertical color seam fix'. Marquee about two thirds of the canvas vertically. Feather it (ctrl +alt +D) to about 20 pixels. Clear it (backspace). Deselect (ctrl +D). Flip the layer horizontally (Edit>Transform>Flip Horizontal). Set layer to 50% opacity.

 

6b. Same thing here but horizontally. Select the original color layer. Duplicate it. Call this layer 'horizontal color seam fix'. Select about two thirds of the canvas horizontally. Feather it (ctrl +alt +D) to about 20 pixels. Clear it (backspace). Deselect (ctrl +D). Flip the layer vertically (Edit>Transform>Flip Vertical). Set layer to 50% opacity.

 

7. Do any final fidgeting and adjusting now, you may wanna bump up the saturation on the color base layer (ctrl +U). Then Flatten all the layers (Layer>Flatten Image).

At this stage it should be looking pretty decent. The overall tone should be evened out and the color distribution should tile pretty well.

 

 

Final Steps

8. Name the flattened layer tileable Texture' (this takes away the layers' annoying background forced opacity behavior). After having installed it, open the Seamless Workshop filter. (Filter>Redfield>Seamless Workshop). This plugin is awesome and its free. The function of this filter is to blend the textures seams together by overlapping the texture with itself vertically and horizontally. Trippy.

When you open this filter, the first thing you will say to yourself is "Holy crap, what are all these yellow square sliders" - I have attempted to demystify some of the controls you will use by labeling them in the picture below. Like most software, appliances and heavy machinery, you can figure out what all the knobs and buttons do by playing with them.

Offset the image by moving the vertical and horizontal seams into the center of the viewing area so you can see what you're working on. This is the fun part. The game here is to move the crop sliders and the overlap sliders to blend the seams so they become invisible. There are also two edge blending sliders for you to play with. They appear to affect the overlap blending curve which seems to affect the brightness and darkness of the overlap.

The settings I used are also in the picture below. Hit the green tick button to apply the filter when you are happy with the results.

 

9. Last step: Ctrl left-click on the current layer in the layer palette to select its opaque area. Crop the image by using the menu crop command (Image>Crop).

 

Test your tileable texture out. If you didn't screw up you should end up with something like this: Click _HERE. This is exactly how the texture looks after using only these 9 steps.

 

Touch up Trick:
Depending on the texture you use, you might find the seams still slightly visible, or there may be blemishes or artifacts you want to get rid of.

You can use the clone stamp tool to eliminate these or you can duplicate feathered selections of the texture which I think works well and pretty quickly. To do this, marquee part of the texture that is away from the seams. Feather it about 10 pixels. Hold down ctrl and alt on your keyboard and drag the feathered selection over the seam area.

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